Located on a stunning bay off the coast of one of Europe's newest nations, Kotor is a city replete with rich history and tradition, and of course its breathtaking scenic views. Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, Kotor was built in ancient times between the 12th and 14th century. It has many historic monuments and medieval architecture. Extending just over 4km, the giant city walls have provided protection to the city for centuries. If you are thinking about or already planning a vacation to Kotor Montenegro, these are some of the things you should know.
So, you say Kotor is beautiful. Why should I visit?
Kotor has the appearance of a dreamland. It has non-stop mountainous views and a nearly unimaginable coastline. Enjoy a week of complete spectacle in this town that is not crowded even during the summer, unlike other European tourist destinations. If you are thinking of going to Kotor, here are a few reasons to get you packing.
This ancient city is as beautiful as they come. The turquoise waters are not only calm but also bookended by craggy lifts that are sparsely covered by shrubbery. You can have gorgeous views from several parts of the city. This city is extremely photogenic.
Cute old town
Kotor's old town, with its neat and narrow pathways, as well as buildings made from white stones, is the prettiest sight you will ever see. You will spend your evenings wandering within the town's walls, but even more surprise awaits you when night falls. Most of restaurants here have live music. Classical guitarists and jazz pianists pump melodies zealously into the night air.
It's cheap by European standards
Kotor is a high value destination. Its food and accommodation are quite reasonable in comparison with other European destinations. A large 2-bedroom apartment goes for just $100 a night. This is almost impossible to get when you travel across Europe, especially in summer. This is a place you can come, even with a tight budget and still enjoy great scenery and medieval buildings.
So, really! What do I do in Kotor?
The following are some exciting activities to keep you busy in Kotor:
Climb to the apex of the fortress
The route to the top of the fortress is composed of over 1000 stairs. You will most likely be climbing the wall with many other people. When you reach the top, you will realize that the view is worth your struggles. You will see the whole of Kotor Bay before you, its famed church steeples and fjords.
Explore the old town
Most people who have been here consider the Old Town as the most well-preserved town in the whole of the Mediterranean. Walls stretch 20 meters high and have been there for more than 1000 years. The best way of soaking up the experience is perhaps by stepping out on foot and viewing the cobblestones streets and the alleyways.
Visit cathedral Sveti Tripun
Cathedral Sveti Tripun is located right at the epicenter of the old town. Built in the 1100s, this is the embodiment of ancient Roman architecture. It is the largest as well as the most striking structure in Kotor. You can explore the interior of the church for just a small fee.
Get out on the water
Find a guide to go with you on a day-trip to Lake Skadar or to take you kayaking across Kotor Bay. Other tour companies also arrange yachting cruises or boat tours even for just one day. To get even more adventurous, try some water-skiing. Other things you can do in Kotor include viewing “Our Lady of the Rocks”, trying some local grub and perusing the Maritime Museum of Montenegro.
Hey! My budget is tight. Cost of things in Kotor?
As mentioned above, Kotor is a pretty cheap town by European standards. You can eat ridiculously well for even Euro 10. The average cost of burger and chips in restaurants is 4-5 euros, pancakes, 2.5 euros and pizza is about 4-5 euros. A full meal (stroganoff or mixed grill) goes for eight euros and you can even find a salad as cheap as three euros. Portions are massive, so you need to be prepared.
Taxi from old Kotor to Muo costs between 1.6 and three euros and the cost will depend on if you are held up in traffic. Kotor also has a daily market where you could buy farm fresh fruits and vegetables. Bus is also fairly cheap. The currency used in Montenegro is Euro.
Accommodation is also cheap and plentiful. During summer, expect to pay €10 per person per night for a room in the old town. Outside old town, you could pay anywhere from €7-15. Hotel room go for around Euro 50. If you prefer a luxury hotel you will have to pay more of course. Restaurants are priced very reasonably. Although fish is expensive, seafood is cheap, fresh and very tasty. A cup of cappuccino goes for Euro 1.50.
Come on! There must be one place I Have to! Have to! Have to! Visit while in Kotor!
The Old Town is the single most important part of Kotor that you must not miss if you go there. It is where the culture, history and tradition of Montenegro are currently being preserved. It has a great number of medieval architecture monuments which include churches, palaces, cathedrals, and museums. These are complemented with many narrow streets, markets and squares. Trg od Oruzja is the main and to date the biggest square.
The old town is also home to some important cultural monuments such as Cathedral of Sveti Tripun, Tower watch and Prince's palace. The Old town is considered the most well-preserved medieval urban entity in the entire Mediterranean.
I've been having fun all day! Now I'm hungry. What can I eat in Kotor? No dude, not fries!
Restaurant food range from functional to delicious, but are mostly served in huge portions. Seafood and fresh food are excellent. They are usually grilled and served with blitva or chard and potato. Fast food such as barbecue and pizza are sold in many restaurants there. Hamburgers cost just €1. You can also find some fresh and authentic foods from a few restaurants. Niksic beer costs €1, which is also the price of a cup of coffee or tea. Specialties you should try include Kacamak, mashed potatoes, wheat and corn flour, served with cheese and milk; Burek, baked filled pastries and Cevapi (kebab) a grilled dish of minced meat.
There is a variety of places you can eat in Kotor including Cesarica, which offers authentic Montenegrin dishes prepared and served in the traditional way. If you are interested in fine dining, then you can give Galion a try. It serves international and Mediterranean cuisine and you can enjoy your meal with a breathtaking view overlooking the Bay of Kotor. Feeling for barbecue Montenegro style then you can check out Tanjga. In the mood for pizza then you can take a walk over to Caffe Pizzeria Pronto. If you are looking for a good glass of wine and some good jazz music you can check out the Old Winery. You can have either local cheese, ham and olives to accompany your wine.
BTW! How is the nightlife in Kotor? Hmmm... Does it exist?
Versatile and vibrant, a night in Kotor usually starts in some of the numerous open bars within old town walls. There are many different bars so you will have to walk around to find the one that suits you. Most of the restaurants actually have live bands, but the music is mostly local. However, you will get used to the melodies after a couple of minutes. The bars are cheap and waiters are extremely fast. Since most bars are not allowed to play music past 1 o'clock, the action shifts to nightclubs. Maximus is one of the popular clubs found in the old town.
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